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Messed up my head(4 Posts)
DH and I have been together over 20 years, since late teens. 3 boys under 10, all with SEN. Me with a disabling chronic illness. The situations a little complex. DH has always been a bit snappy and impatient. When I was pregnant with our youngest things started to get toxic. I was really sick and DH couldn't or wouldn't step up. We've cycled through a lot of highs and lows since then and we're now pretty much broken.
I'm slowly trying to get ducks in a row, but I'm really struggling to let go of the guilt and thinking things really aren't that bad. Still giving him too much space in my mind.
When DS3 was a newborn we had an argument, can't remember about what and DH said he didn't think he loved me anymore. Wouldn't discuss it, expected our relationship to go on as normal, while he decided how he felt. It was only much later it occurred to me this was cruel. To expect your wife to go on having an intimate relationship after he'd withdrawn his love. I was so desperate to make it work. But by the time DS3 was 1 I couldn't take being intimate with him anymore. Sex made me feel used, he made me feel worthless.
2019 things started to escalate. He accidentally got locked out, I was on the toilet. Instead of just knocking he pounds on the door over and over till I could get there, the wall was shaking. Then had a go at me for locking him out. I didn't want him to be angry at the kids so I didn't tell him it wasn't me. A few weeks later he I think pushed Ds2. I wasn't in the room, ds2 has SEN and limited language. He said daddy pushed. He was crying and shaky. His psychologist and GP know what I could tell them, which wasn't much, it's been reported. It really shook me. A few months later we had a weekend where I was really sick, but still looking after kids. DH spent the day doing things that were for himself, like cooking up a heap of lunches to freeze. He did one family chore, then apparently I looked at him in an angry way and he lost it. Started kicking some of the kids things which I was just about to clean up, screaming at me. I froze, but then I saw our boys, they were so scared. I yelled at him to get out. He left the room, pushed a door open so hard it made a whole in the wall. After I made sure the kids were OK I went out to talk to him. He said sorry, but.... Basically it was all my fault and he didn't think he'd actually done anything wrong. And as far as the law and custody goes where we live he hasn't. Yes I've seen someone. The kids were scared to be alone with him so I was focused on them and I couldn't leave. Not when they'd have to see him alone feeling like that. A few weeks later I asked him for some physical space, told him how anxious I was feeling around him. Apparently it was really nasty of me to try and make him feel bad. I stood my ground and he finally agreed then only a couple of hours later I was sitting at the dinner table and he stood over me going on about how great I was and I just knew if I looked up he'd try to kiss me. I felt sick, he couldn't even respect my boundary for a few hours. He snapped "it's just a kiss" before storming off.
Since then, over 18 months it's mostly been minor stuff. Him snapping at everyone, him accusing me of shouting in front of kids when I'm just standing my ground no raised voice, him shushing me and the kids. We've had bushfires and severe storms which damaged our house and then lockdown and then our youngest in hospital for 2 months. Lots of therapy trying to get our non verbal Autistic middle boy ready for school. Eldest still worries about making dad angry.
I feel at once trapped and desperate to leave and at the same time like the really bad bits weren't actually that bad and that it's not current and I should just suck it up so my kids don't have to spend 40-50% of their week without me there to run interference. My friends emotionally and physically abusive ex got 50% shared care and she's had to call the police on him. The courts minimise DV a lot in my country. And my mind is so messed up from gaslighting and from him telling me things like I'm yelling or angry when I'm not. I can't hang on to any certain. There's other less big incidents. When I write everything down I think this is toxic but he's so good at turning it around, making it all my fault. I can't hang on to that certainty that things are bad enough to go. Im afraid of my husband but I still feel like it's my fault and things aren't bad enough to justify leaving. I don't understand how I can feel those two things at the same moment but I do.
Feeling really sad and overwhelmed.
I am sorry this is happening to you, OP.
The problem with anyone who blames someone else for their behaviour, is that nothing can ever change for the better.
If he cannot take responsibility for his behaviour, for his anger and for his violence, then where will it end? If you can 'make him do it' then he could kill you because nothing is his fault and he is so helplessly easily influenced, couldn't he?
You absolutely need to get out of this marriage before this gets worse. It WILL get worse and worse, just as it has been getting worse and worse for years. You are a frog that is just about completely cooked.
Leaving aside anything he has ever said to you or threatened you with, have a good think. What is the likelihood that if you separated that he would actually, truly want to have your children with him on his own? Would he want to be the sole parent and look after them by himself for 50% of the time?
He won't hurt me physically. I've never been afraid he'd do that. There's been nothing major, just moody snappy behaviour since, for 18 months. I think there's a good chance he'll go for 50/50 and get it. He loves the kids and thinks he's a great dad. Any issues with the kids pre diagnoses were my fault too because I wouldn't let him discipline them the way he wanted too.
I am planning to leave, it's just scary and overwhelming. Even relationship aside things are really overwhelming meeting the DC additional needs and all the therapy they need, getting them to everything on my own, while in horrible pain. My life is overwhelming right now. And the future feels scary, things like telling him I want a divorce, the divorce process, having to live under one roof till we sell, the kids having to cope alone with him and how financially precarious the future will be when there's a good chance I'll never work again.
I need to find a way past the overwhelm and panic so I can get my ducks in a row. I'm struggling to take those steps. Im on medication which helped. Tried counselling with two different therapists, just made my panic worse, waiting for a new one now.
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